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Volume XIV. JULY 1898 Numbeb 4 



By Geobqe Alexandeb Kohdt, 

Eabbi in Dallas, Texas. 

In a paper read at the third annual meeting of the American 
Jewish Historical Society on " Early Jewish Literature in Amer- 
ica," ' we briefly referred to the life and work of Judah Monis, 
a convert from Judaism, who, for several decades, 1722-1761, 
occupied the first chair of Hebrew in Harvard University. Very 
little information can be gleaned from reference works concern- 
ing his early life. Aside from the mere fact of his conversion and 
official position naught else is recorded. Even the exact date of 
his birth is shrouded in mystery. His name is, to all appear- 
ances, unique ;^ in fact, Rev. Dr. B. Pelsenthal, of Chicago, in a 
private letter to the writer, suggested that Monis is an anagram 
of Simon. The bibliographers, among them the late Kabbi Marco 
Mortara, who wrote a catalogue of Italian Jewish authors,^ do 
not even mention him by name. Strangely enough, one or two 
sources give February 4, 1683, as the date of his birth and even 
chronicle his death under date of April 25, 1764. Whence these 
facts were derived is not stated by the cyclopaedias.* Others, 

1 See Publ. Am. Jewish Hist. Soc., No. 3, pp. 112-14. 

2 "MonU, ein vomehmes Geschlecht der Patricien zu Frankfurt a. mayn," cf. Speness, 
Opuec. Herald., II., p. 154 [?]. 

s See his "8lbnl8 IIODn ni3Tia>" Mantua, ISSe. 

* For bibliograpliic details in connection with Monis' life and career, we refer the reader 
to the Monthly Atithology, for 1810, p. 59 ; Hannah Adams, History of the Jews, etc. (London, 
1818), p. 461 ; Whitney's History of Worcester, pp. 272, 273; History of Harvard University 


218 Hebeaica 

again, claim that he hails from Africa and that he settled in New 
England in or about 1720, where he earned his livelihood as teacher 
of Semitic languages. Our interest centers chiefly upon his pro- 
fessional career in Harvard University, where he was engaged in 
April 1722, after submitting himself to baptism, according to the 
requirements of the trustees. It is a remarkable fact to observe 
in this connection that, though outwardly professing the Chris- 
tian faith, he continued till his death to observe the seventh day 
as the Sabbath. Without entering into a discussion as to the 
sincerity of his convictions, which, as we have elsewhere shown 
[Pub. Am. Jewish Hist. Soc, No. 3, pp. 113-14), was questioned 
by some, we cannot help saying that his observance of the Jewish 
Sabbath is proof enough of his adherence to the ancestral creed, 
and that, like the Marranos of Spain, Portugal, and South America, 
he remained loyal to Israel at heart, whilst apparently devoted to 
Christianity. Like Heine, Boerne, and others, he changed his 
faith in name only, in order to reach the object of his ambitions. 
The causes were purely political, not dogmatic, for, judging from 
the reserved, and even guarded tone employed in the preface of 
his Hebrew Grrammar, he seems to have aimed at being non- 
committal. He does not care to enlighten us as to his theological 

from its foundation in the year lese to the period of the American Revolution, by Benjamin 
Peirce, A.M., Cambridge, 1833, pp. 2SI2sq. ; Biatory of Harvard University, by Josiah Quincy, 
Cambridge, 1840, in 2 vols.; Boston, 1860, in 2 vols.; Vol. I., pp. 259, «2; S. A. Allibone's 
Catalogue Dictionary of English Literature, of British and American Authors, Philadelphia, 
1870, Vol. II., p. 1338, s. v. Monie ; L. B. Phillips' Dictionary of Biographical Reference, etc., 
London, 1871, p. 660, s. v. Monis ; F. S. Drake's Dictionary of American Biography, Boston, 
1874, p. 628, «. V. Monis : " Hebrew instructor at Harvard University from 1722 to 1761. Bom 
in Italy, February 4, 1683; died in Northborough, Mass., April 25, 1764. Embracing Christi- 
anity he was baptized at Cambridge in 1722. He published Truth, Whole Truth, Nothing 
but the Truth, 1722, and a Hebrew Grammar, 4to, 1735;" Joseph Sabin, Dictionary of Books 

relating to America, Vol. XII., New York, 1880, p. 288, s. v. Monis : " The first Hebrew 

Grammar published in America. The author was an Italian Jew, who emigrated to America 
about 1720. In 1722 he was appointed Hebrew instructor in Harvard University, and occu- 
pied this position for forty years. He made a profession of Christianity and put forth three 
discourses, as described infra, by way of proof," etc., etc. ; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of 
American Biography, Vol. IV., p. 857; G. A. Kohut, in Publ, Am. Jewish Hist. Soc., No. 3, 
pp. 112-14; Dr. David Philipson, "An attempt at a bibliography of American Judaioa," in 
the American Israelite, September 1895. Some of these authorities wiE be quoted in 
extenso in the last of this paper. Cf. also Malos' Histoire des Juifs, p. 474, apud E. Carmoly's 
Revue Orientale, Vol. III., Brussels, 1843-44, p. 267 : " Juda Monis, I'un de ceux de Boston, 
fnt nomm6 en 1722 professeur h I'universitfi d'Harvard. D'aprfes le r^glement, il ne pouvait 
6tre admis sans changer de religion. II se fit done baptiser ; mais il continua d'observer 
jusqu'^ sa mort, le jour de sabbat, et, d'aprfes le discours que lui adressa, lors de son installa- 
tion, le docteur Coleman, il paraitrait qu'on avait des doutes sur la sinc6ritS de sa conversion. 
Monis mourut en 1764, ftgfi de quatre-vingt un ans." The Hebrew bibliographer, E. Dei- 
nard, in his "TiSB "IIS — Catalogue of the .... MSS. and .... Books . ... of Hon. 
Mayer Sulzberger, etc., New York, 1896, p. 66, says: IBtJIlb JHID Sb HTn "IBOn 
D'^'lBOn, evidently not knowing the above authorities, nor my essay quoted in the notes. 
See also Dr. Felsenthal's article, "The Sulzbergeriana and its Catalogue," in the Jewish 
Exponent, March 19, 1897. 


views, unless indeed his Hebrew version of the "Lord's Prayer" 
and the "Apostles' Creed," added to his compendium (p. 94), 
and translations of other formulas of Christian dogma, to be cited 
later, be construed as a confession of his "dogmatic conscience." 
In the framing of the opening sentences prefixed to his manual, 
he seems designedly ambiguous. An expression like "he (God) 
has not only taken Moses's Vail [veil?] from me, but even has 
Placed me in his Service, i. e., to Teach and Promote the Knowl- 
edge of the Hebrew Tongue at Harvard-College, in New-England, 
especially for the advantage of those that will Dedicate themselves 
to the Service of the Sanctuary," may lend itself to a twofold inter- 
pretation. "Moses's Vail" might mean the removal of restraint, 
or have reference to his conversion; whilst the "Service of the 
Sanctuary" can denote either the office of the ministry at large, 
or the Christian church in particular. Be that as it may, it is 
evident that Monis, though converted, was a Jew at heart, and a 
Christian in public life. As the first instructor of Hebrew per- 
haps in America, and as author of the first handbook of the 
Hebrew tongue, he assuredly deserves a place in the annals of 
our history. About his election, duties, and character as pro- 
fessor, we let an authentic authority speak : 

"Mr. Judah Monis," writes Benjamin Peirce (loc. cit., p. 232), "a Jew- 
ish Eabbi {sic), who was born in Italy, or in one of the Barbary States, 
came to America at an early period of hfe, and about the year 1720 he 
began to instruct in Hebrew. In the year 1722, March 27, he be(&me a 
convert to Christianity, and was baptized at Cambridge.' It was voted 
by the Corporation, April 30, 1722, 'that Mr. Judah Monis be imploied 
as an instructer of the Hebrew language in the College,' and that his 
salary for one year should be £70. All the undergraduates excepting 
the freshmen and such others as should be exempted by the President 
and tutors were required to attend his instruction on 4 days in the week. 
He was reappointed the next year with a salary of £80, and, at the same 
time, 'the Corporation, having had experience of great benefit to the 
College from the service of the Hebrew instructer, Mr. Judah Monis, 
the last year, voted, that such an olSce be continued in the Colledge {sic), 
so long as a suitable person for that service can be found, and a suitable 
support for him.'^ 

"His election was renewed the year following, and it was then voted, 
'that the Tutors of the several classes be obliged to instruct their 

1 " On that occasion, March 27, 1722, a Discourse was delivered in the College Hall, by 
the Rev. Dr. Colman ; which was published in a volume with thiee Discourses by Mr. Monis 
himself, entitled respectively: The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth, 
12mo. (Boston, 1722)." Cf. infra, pp. 221-2, for the particulars of this discourse. 

2 " Overseers' Eecords." 

220 Hebsaica 

respective pupils (except such as are entered with the said Mr. Monis) in 
the Hebrew language, as heretofore,' and 'that Mr. Monis be obliged to 
instruct such of the graduates at the College in the Hebrew language, 
as shall attend him, at such times as the Corporation shall appoint.'" 

He seems to have become a permanent instructor. In the 
year 1735 he published a Hebrew Grammar,' for the use of the 
college, and was paid by the corporation £35 for this service. 

[Ibid.] "He made use of the vowel points in this grammar, and 
insisted that they were essential to the right pronunciation of the lan- 
guage. . . . He was considered well educated in Rabbinic learning, and 
in that knowledge which was requisite for an instructor in Hebrew.^ 
There must, however, from some cause or other, have been a great 
decline in the cultivation of Hebrew ; for when Judge Wingate was at 
College (1755-59), Mr. Monis 'attended to the instruction of the scholars 
one afternoon in the week; but none were compelled to attend who did 
not choose to learn Hebrew, and but a small portion of the scholars paid 
any attention to his instruction.' 

"On the death of his wife, in 1761, he resigned his oflSce, which he had 
held about forty years, and retired to Northborough in the county of 
Worcester. He spent the remainder of his days in the family of the 
Kev. John Martyn, whose wife and Mrs. Monis were sisters. He died 
April 25, 1764 in the eighty-second year of his life, leaving some legacies 
to pious and charitable objects, and the remainder of his estate, which 
was considerable, to the family of Mr. Martyn.'" 

After Mr. Monis' retirement from ofBce, the professorship of 
Hebrew was tendered to Sir Sewall, September 7, 1761* (c/. 
Peirce, loc. cit., pp. 234-5). There are one or two references to 
Monis in Josiah Quincy's History of Harvard University, Vol. 
I., pp. 259 and 442, which run as follows : 

"Being apprized of the temper in which the New England religious 
controversies were in that day conducted, and anticipating that the term 
'orthodox' was about to be abused to the propagation of an antichris- 
tian spirit he (a Mr. HoUis) takes occasion to advise Mr. Colman in rela- 
tion to Mr. Monis (instructor in Hebrew, a converted Jew) 'to instruct 
him a little farther in the Christian doctrine of more extensive charity 
and not to judge too hastily of his neighbor, and exclude from salvation 
every one that differs from him in the explication of belief of the article 
of the Trinity,' etc." (p. 259). "All the students, except the freshmen," 
says Quincy, "were obliged to attend four days in the week the Exercises 
of Judah Monis, a converted Jew, who was instructor in Hebrew, unless 

1 Cf. my paper, loc. cit. 

2 " MS. Letter of the Hon. Judge Wingate, December 2, 1830." 

3 " Whitney's History of Worcester, pp. 272, 273 ; " G. A. Kohut in Publ. Am. Jewish Hist. 
Sac., No. 3, p. lit. 

'See, however, a different date in Quincy's History, Vol. II., p. 130: "In May, 1761, 
Stephen Sewall had been appointed Hebrew instructor in place of Mr. Monis, deeeaxd.'" 


specially exempted. Every student was to have a Hebrew Bible or 
Psalter, and a Hebrew Lexicon, and the prescribed exercises were as 
follows : * One exercise in a week shall be the writing of the Hebrew 
and Eabbinical, the rest shall be in this gradual method — 1. Copying 
the grammar and reading. 2. Reciting it and reading. 3. Constru- 
ing. 4. Parsing. 5. Translating. 6. Composing. 7. Eeading without 

A tribute to Monis' learning is tendered by Benjamin Colman, 
V.D.M., in a memorial sermon held on the occasion of the for- 
mer's public conversion to Christianity, entitled, A Discourse, 
held in the College Hall at Cambridge, March 27, 1722, before 
the Baptism of R. Judah Monis. (Boston, by S. Kneeland .... 
1722, vi + 28 pp.) In the preface to this pamphlet, an extract 
of which was kindly communicated to me by Rev. Dr. B. Felsen- 
thal, the speaker says : 

"As to Mr. Monis himself, it must be confessed that he seems a very 
valuable Proselyte ; (as a Learned Person has said to me of him), and 
would be so esteemed by the learned and pious in one Profession or 
other of Christianity. He is truly read and learned in the Jewish Cab- 
bala and Kabbins, a Master and Critic in the Hebrew ; he reads, speaks, 
writes and interprets it with great readiness and accuracy and is truly 
S(8aKT(K09, apt to teach. His diligence and industry together with his 
ability is manifest unto many who have seen his Grammar and Nomen- 
clatur, Hebrew and English, as also his Translation of the Apostles' 
Creed and Lord's Prayer,^ the 39 Articles of the Church of England and 
the Assembly's Shorter Catechism into Hebrew. And he is now trans- 
lating the Larger Catechism, a work I suppose never before attempted. 
.... I trust the Gracious GOD may mean Us (I mean the College and 
the Churches of Christ) great Benefit from Mr. Monis his Services, if the 
Honourable and Reverend the Overseers of the College shall think good 
to confirm the Choice, which the Reverend President and Fellows, the 
present Corporation have lately made of Mr. Monis to teach the Hebrew 
tongue unto the Students ; or rather if in their Wisdom they shall see 
meet to Appoint him Hebrew Professor, for which good and great Work 
we have no Man likeminded, as well as Capable." 

Some biographical material is to be gleaned from the tracts 
issued by Judah Monis, which are indeed palpable evidences of 
his zeal in behalf of his newly espoused faith. Whether or not 
the sincerity was feigned or naturally felt, cannot be determined 
with certainty. The first of these tracts reads as follows : 

The Truth, being a Discourse which the Author delivered at his 
Baptism, containing nine Principal Arguments the Modern Jewish 

1 "Of. Leverett's Diary, p. 226." 

2 See Appendix I. and II. to this paper, where these translations are reproduced. 

222 Hebbaioa 

Rabbins do make to prove, the Messiah is yet to come, vnth the answers 

to each Dedicated to the Jeivish Nation, and Prefaced by the 

Reverend Increase Mather, D.D. By R. Judah Monis. Boston, printed 
by S. Kneeland, for D. Henchman, 1722 ; 8vo, 2, iv and 36 pp. 

In the advertisement preceding the author's sermon it is 
stated : "As to the Quotations for want of the Hebrew Types in 
this Country, he is obliged to give them only in English." 

At the end of Increase Mather's preface, we read : 

"God grant that he (Monis) who is the first Jew that ever I knew 
converted in New England, may prove a blessing unto many and espe- 
cially to some of his own Nation which is the Prayer and hearty Desire 
of Increase Mather. 

"Boston, May 1st, 1722." 

The second tract is entitled : 

The Whole Truth, being a short Essay wherein the author discovers 
what may be the true reason why the Jewish Nation are not as yet con- 
verted to Christianity. Boston, ibid., 1722; 8vo, 2+40 pp. 

Dr. Felsenthal called my attention to a curious remark made 
by Monis, on p. 32, in regard to the final Mem in the word 
TOIDj , in Isaiah 9:6. He says : 

" D closes in all parts, to show that the mother of our Lord was to 
be a pure virgin, closed, without being known by any Body carnally, but 
overshadowed by the Holy Ghost .... not from any virgin whatsoever, 
but from one who was to be called Mary, and no other. This is deci- 
phered in said Letter, which is the first of the Letters which the name 
Miriam or Mary begins with." ' 

The third tract is called : 

Nothing but the Truth, being a short Essay wherein the author 
proves the doctrine of the Trinity .... Boston, ibid. ; 8vo, 2 and 22 pp. 

Besides these theological papers, Monis published a Hebrew 
Grammar for beginners, which was used at Harvard University 
for a number of years. Its full title is given by the present writer 
elsewhere (c/. his paper, loc. cit.). It is a square octavo volume 
containing 4 + 94 + 2 pp. Copies of it are by no means so rare 
as we had supposed. It is extant in the libraries of Columbia 
College, the Boston Athenaeum and the Astor Library, in the 
collection of Americana belonging to the American Jewish His- 
torical Society, at Washington \^vide Publications, No. 5, 1897, 
p. 212], and there are probably others in private hands.^ 

1 This remark, however, is not original with Monis. It belongs to Jerome. 

2 There is another Hebrew Grammar, published in Boston, 1763, which in the catalogues 
of the Astor Library (now a part of the great public library) is ascribed to Judah 

JuDAH MoNis, M.A. 223 

On the reverse side of the title page, Monis says : 

" I advise Beginners not to perplex themselves about any Rule that 
at first view seems difficult, which will be of great Advantage to carry on 
their design in the knowledge of this Primitive Tongue with Success. 
Also I desire them to take Notice, that I purposed in Englishing the 
Hebrew Examples, to confine myself to do it Grammatically, having no 
regard either to the English Idiom, or to the Context." 

The Grammar is dedicated to several persons. For complete- 
ness' sake we will quote it in full : 

"To his Excellency JONATHAN BELCHER, Esq.; Gouvemour in 
Chief of His MAJESTY'S Province of the Massachusetts-Bay in NEW 
ENGLAND, and The rest of the Honourable and Reverend OVER- 
SEERS of HARVARD COLLEGE, and To the Revebend MR. BEN- 
JAMIN WADSWORTH, President, and The rest of the Honourable 

Monis. As it is the second text-book nsed in the Semitic department of Harvard University, 
it is not out of place to refer to it more fully. The title page runs as follows : 

"An Hebrew Grammar, || collected chiefly from those of !| Mr. Israel Lyons, ]| Teacher 
of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge ; || and The Rev. Eichard Grey, D.D. ; || Rector of 
Hinton, in Northamptonshire || To which is subjoined |j a Praxis, taken from the sacred || 
classics II and containing a II Specimen of the whole Hebrew || Language: II with || a 
sketch of the Hebrew Poetry l| as retrieved by Bishop Hare. 11 

"Spes quidem mihi non exigua est, multos hoc nostro labore 
excitatos fore, ad Linguam Hebralcam addiscendam, quae 
nimium quantum apud nos neglecta jacet, ciun tamen 
aliqualis ejus notitia, si recta via incedas, facili 
negotis comparitur:" — Bishop Haee. 

Boston, New England: Printed by R. & S. Draper, for the Honorable and Reverend the 
President and Fellows of Harvard CoUege. MDCCLXIII." (8vo, pp. vi + 83.) 

This early American republication of a Jewish scholar's work is no doubt due to Monis' 
influence, although it is significant that his own work (c/. PAJBS., 3, p. 113) had fallen 
into disuse, and that he resigned his professorship in 1761. The method of this grammar is 
simpler, and was probably introduced because of its greater practical utility. Until 1759, 
we fancy, Monis' own handbook was used, for in a copy of the grammar which is in the Astor 
Library (N. Y.), the signatures of several students are given, and we read among them these 
inscriptions : 

II Stephen Scales' Book 1759 || One of Judah Monis' flock. II 

II John Newman 1759 || By y= Eevd Mr. Judah Monis || Feeder of y= Lord's Flock in ye 
fat Pasture of Harvard College. || 

Israel Lyons, Sen., of Cambridge (England?) wrote a Hebrew grammar which became 
so popular that it went through three editions, outside of the one referred to in this note. 
The first in 1735, at Cambridge, entitled: The Scholar's Instructor; an Hebrew Grammar. 
The second, revised edition, appeared in 1757 ; and the third edition by Jacob, in London, 
1810. Steinschneider knows of only two. Several mistakes were made regarding these 
editions by bibliographers. J. G. Hauptmann, in his Historia ling, hebraeae, etc. (Leipzig, 
1751), p. 41, has 1734, and speUs his name Lion. Cf. also Cavmoly's Histoire des MMecijis 
juifs anciens et modernes (Brussels, 1844), p. 229; Steinschneider's Bibliographisches Hand- 
buch, etc. (Leipzig, 1859) , pp. 86-7, No. 1223 ; J. GUdcmeister's review in Zeitschrift d. Deutschen 
Morgeniand. Oesellschaft, Vol. XIV. (Leipzig, 1860), p. 305. A copy of the abridgment, 
printed in Boston, 1763, is also in the British Museum. A biography of Israel Lyons, Sr., is 
to be found in the General Biographical Dictionary, s. v. ; McClintock & Strong's Theo- 
logical Encyclopaedia, Vol. V.2, p. 588; Dictionary of National Biography (London), Vol. 
XXXIV., p. 357. His son was also famous as a scholar and physician. See Steinschneider's 
Jewish Literature (London, 1857), pp. 261, 263, 264; and his Catalogus Librorum Hebraeorum 
in Bibliotheca Bodleiana (Berlin, 1852-60), p. 2803, No. 7583; also his Zuedtze zum Bibliogr. 
Handbuch, published in the Centralblatt fUr Bibliothekswesen, Berlin, 1896, p. 455, where 
both Lyons and Monis are mentioned, the latter for the first time by any bibliographer, 
with reference to our paper, loc. cit. 

224 Hebraica 

and Eeverend CORPORATION of said COLLEGE, This Essay is 
with great Respect and Gratitude, DEDICATED By Your most obliged 
and most Humble Servant JUDAH MONIS." 

The preliminary remarks accompanying the work are of 
quaint interest : 

"Since," writes the convert, "through the good Hand of Ood upon 
me, he has not only taken Moses's Vail from me, but even has Placed 
me in his Service, i. e., to Teach and Promote the Knowledge of the 
Hebrew Tongue at Habvabd-College, in New-England, especially for 
the advantage of those that will Dedicate themselves to the Service of 
the Sanctuary ; and considering, that thro' the great & manifold Faults 
& Errors (at least of the Press) that are found in All the Hebrew Gram- 
mars extant, besides the shortness of them, my Expected Work could 
not be attained without farther Reformation ; I thought therefore to facil- 
itate said Instructions, it was necessary to Compose One more full and 
correct; But for want of Hebrew Types in these remote parts of the 
World, it could not be Accomplished till now: For altho' that Pious 
and Great Benefactor, Mr. THOMAS HOLLIS, Merchant of London 
Vt among others of his great Donations to our COLLEGE, sent a Set 
of Hebrew Types to carry on said Work, yet that Set unhappily proving 
Imperfect, it could not go forward till the Reverend Corporation (who 
are true Lovers of Learning) sent for more Hebrew Types to Oompleat 
such a good and desirable Design. 

"NOW the Rules herein contained, I think (with submission to the 
Learned) are the Best, Clearest, and most Necessary ones, to qualify any 
(tho' of mean Capacity) to understand the WORD of GOD according to 
the Original, in a very short time, without being obliged to consult sun- 
dry Grammars, as many have said they have been forced to do. 

"I have likewise endeavored, that the Examples should be the most 
Familiar, that so' the Learner whilst he learns the Rules, might be 
acquainted with the Tongue by degrees. 

"I have in the first Chapter throughout, and in sundry other Places, 
turned the Pronunciation of the HEBREW Words in English Letters, 
as near as the difference of the Tongues would permit, with a design to 
lead (as it were) young Beginners into the way of Pronouncing this 
Tongue by their own Industry : I am very sensible that the way of my 
pronouncing it, will seem to be somewhat new ; yet, I am prone to think, 
it is the Right and Genuine way, for, besides that all the Jewish Nation 
in all their Dispersions, do pronounce it as I do (which to me is not of 
small weight) I found in all my Travels, all the learned in this Tongue 
that I conversed with, among the Europeans (English excepted) do 
pronounce it the same way also ; and why the English differ from the 
rest, proceeds only (as I take it) from the various ways they have 
of pronouncing the Vowels, in which the other Nations are more con- 
formed one to another, as it is well known to all observing Travellers 

1 This is evidently a misprint for "so that." 

JuDAH MoNis, M.A. 225 

and Linguists ; and therefore in Conformity to the English Pronuncia- 
tion only I have Spelt the Words in English Characters as I have done. 

"In the Schemes you'll find the Verbs generally marked with this 
Mark t under the Syllable which is to be Accented, to initiate the 
Learners in the way of Accenting the Hebrew Words where they 
should be. 

"At the End I present you a Translation of the Lord's Prayer and 
the Apostles' Creed, according (as I think) to the true Idiom of this 
Primitive Language. 

"I acknowledge my self chiefly beholden to the famous R.D.K. 
(=R. David Kimchi), R. Arkivotty, and E. Templo, for the Eules herein 

"A Significant, and a Plain Nomenclature, and the Short and Large 
Catechisms, in Hebrew and English, with some other Works that I have 
Prepared for the Use and Benefit of young Beginners, I propose to Pub- 
lish as soon as Providence will permit. 

" The whole of this Essay (such as it is) I offer to your candid Accep- 
tance, hoping you'll overlook the defects in the English Phrase, and 
any other lesser Errors ; and if you reap any Benefit by it, give the Glory 
to God, and pray for the Prosperity of HARVARD -COLLEGE, and by 
so doing, you '11 Oblige, ., yours &c. 

"Cambridge, Mar. 6, 1734, 5." 

There is nothing original to be looked for in this Grammar. 
Dr. Felsenthal points out to us one singularity. Out of the 
so-called Servile Letters {cf. p. 4), the author formed three words, 
containing his name, viz. : aflS iCS'ia DHiit . 

There are many misprints in the book. P. 1 of the Grammar 
reads erroneously: "n''"iD? "jlTEb pTtpl Gnebreet Leshon Dick- 
dock." The transliteration of the alphabet and of all Hebrew 
words is very peculiar indeed. Thus Q''jm^21!1 is transcribed: 
Aubemauhauneem ; DFiyTSl = Auydaungttem (p. 6) ; 
DFiripb^l = Oolkauhttame (p. 8), etc. In the copy before us 
there are many corrigenda written in pen and ink, probably made 
by one of his pupils, Samuel Bird, whose name is written several 
times on the pages of the book with the date A. D. 1746.' At 
the end of the grammar is printed the following : 

T^ysn -'T by -(iiabnT p^'np'^n ■'Sin-i ^S3 Qyps'i ips pros ban 
. iCJpTsabTEin .icsia tri^n^ K;i'nari p^] I'itiisn'i 

Concerning Monis' other literary labors we know very little. 
The translations of the Lord's Prayer and Apostles' Creed are 

1 See supra for names of other students mentioned in the copy preserved in the Astor 

226 Hebraioa 

given in the appendix as the earliest specimens of Hebrew 
scholarship in America. 

In the archives of Harvard University there are two letters 
by Monis, but they have no biographical or scientific value, as 
Professor Chas. Gross informs us. He also left the college a few 
pages of Hebrew MS. It has the signature of Monis on the fly- 
leaf, and was carefully examined by Professor Gottheil, of Colum- 
bia University, who kindly gave me a summary of its contents. 
They are all cabbalistic writings, being for the most part extracts 
from the book 'Emet^ l^ya^lcOh^ (explanation of the writings of 
"'li^n), printed in Livorno, end of the eighteenth century. It 
consists of forty-four leaves, signed at the end : 'B''31S rniiT' ''3i< 
''t1!!^253 . We shall not go into details. 

Judah Monis should be remembered in the annals of Ameri- 
can history as the first Hebrew teacher and grammarian in the 
United States. 

The first American-Hebrew version of the Lord's Prayer.^ 

[From Monis' Hebrew Grammar, p. 94.] 

V"ii«a n'fflyn ssisi xian snsisba ^m m'^n n^i2mx5 iD'^nK 

I v_iTT -:- f; : AT } : :-aJ:* •'•t • ■ -at - ; _i • t 

• A - T • " * - : U T • " • •• • : - : av •• • t - : • ; 

.pH nyi Dbirb ninni ni^inan nsba^sn ^b 

u- T -t"T _iT : J T : T ; - jt T : - - f: 


The first American- Hebrew version of the Apostle^ Creed. 

[Prom Monis' Hebrew Grammar, loc. cit.] 

D;'auj «iin "ys nisns "ri'bN nsn n^^-'bis re^iaxa •^m';Q "sx 
roi3 tT'n imina ^iDDins iT^n^ iia n-'iran yujin''2si :vi«i 

; TT T : _." -: - : : - • t - - ••. : ] vtt 

nbris inltib^B iDiK-'tJSB nnp bnci nabyn D-'itax] ibiai iciipn 

jt;* -j t* *it -~ -.T : _it:-t t:** - : v»_i- 

nbyi DTian p ti'^n n'^'a'^ nisbia inxi b'imb Tf "inpsi na 

tt: j... - } t TT 'T T ~~: ;• t_i':*; 

TTiy Dffi^^ nbn m-^bsn ^nba b» ra^i ba r:a"' "i^b niari n^mb 

• T T • ~ _i - • : - * : • " • T V I ■ T - : •• : _i* - t - 

nriD. na'^bir ny\mzi ]-'mi2 ^ssi. .•D'-nHrii o-^nn tiisob Kiab 
n^nn^i nisi? nb^n^jii D'^BiTjpn miani r>;;bb3n nny nffi^np^ wi^ti 

1 The original punctuation and orthography are retained throughout.